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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11562


Mr COULTON (ParkesThe Nationals Chief Whip) (14:44): My question is to the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. Will the minister update the House on how the coalition's three free-trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China, combined with the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, will help wine producers and exporters in my electorate of Parkes and elsewhere?

Mr JOYCE (New EnglandMinister for Agriculture and Water Resources) (14:44): I thank the honourable member for his question. As a person who has had 30 years experience in farming, he is well versed in knowing the advantages of new markets for agricultural product. As he is also a part of the famous alumni of Farrer college, he also knows about the future for people in the agricultural sector. I commend the work that he and Robyn have done over so many years not only in the agricultural sector as a former mayor but also in this place. He knows that you have to have a vision, you have to have a plan and you have to have delivery. It is no better seen than in the work that this government has done in the wine sector. Whether it is at Lazy River Estate at Dubbo, at Red Earth Estate at Dubbo, at the Robert Oatley Vineyards at Mudgee, at Lowe Wines or even next door at Stone Hill Vineyard at Merriwa, we are actually delivering a better outcome for people in the wine industry.

It has been tough times but it is getting better. There are good new contracts coming through, better prices and a much brighter future. We have seen in the last 12 months to September that total exports in value have gone up to $1.96 billion, which is an eight per cent increase, and up to 734 million litres, which is a five per cent increase. Of the top five export markets—United States being No. 1—we have got a better advantage through the TPP with the United States. Our third biggest market is China and we have signed a free-trade agreement with China. Our fourth biggest market is Canada and that is also covered by the TPP, with immediate removal of quota on entry into force. We have seen growth in all price segments. We have seen that no matter where we go, we can send bulk wine to Japan under the free-trade agreement, where we have seen a 388-per cent increase in bulk wine with a total value increase of 14 per cent. In South Korea, the total value has gone up by 16 per cent.

For the first time in a long time, there is a positive change in the value of Australian exports in wine and it is getting better. How has this happened? It has happened because it we have a plan, a plan in three free-trade agreements. We have the Trans-Pacific Partnership and lower interest rates. We have 100 per cent write-off on water infrastructure to help those in the wine producing areas. We are about to invest a half a billion dollars—$500 million—in new public water infrastructure. We have extra trade commissioners, which we put into place by reason of the agricultural white paper, and we have put more funds into research and development. This is a government that has vision, this is a government that has a plan and we are a government that is delivering.